Role of a Formation Reconnaissance Regiment and Transferring

Discussion in 'RAC' started by bjid, Jan 7, 2011.

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  1. I was researching different corps and regiments, looking at their different roles and such
    While doing this is stumbled upon this video on the 9th/12th lancers page
    9th/12th Lancers - British Army Website
    From the video this a Formation Reconnaissance Regiment seemed like a cross between infantry and cavalry, what in fact is their role.

    Also regarding transferring between different regiments and even corps, is this possible?
    IF it is what is the criteria? i.e. rank, period of service etc.

    Thank you.
    (N.B - I have used the search feature, but with varied results which include somewhat irrelevant threads that do nothing but confuse and if I offend anyone with this obvious lack of competency I apologise.)
  2. This has been done quite a bit on other threads. When discussing what Formation Reconnaissance (FR) Regiments (now retitled Brigade Reconnaissance Regiments (BRRs)) it may be helpful to understand what the RAC and indeed the combat arms do in the round and within it what FR does. To that end I have copied and pasted something I wrote in response to the question "What do the RAC do?"

    The other thing is that the term cavalry nowadays holds little meaning when describing a unit's role. Cavalry regiments are those which are historically descended from those which fought mounted on horses (and in the case of dragoons on foot as well as on horseback). In the regular army some cavalry regiments are roled as Formation Recce and others as Armoured (i.e. Challenger 2 tanks). (In the TA there are a number yeomanry regiments which have been re-roled as signals or artillery regiments as well.) In US / NATO lexicon the term cavalry normally means mounted recce, sometimes akin to FR.


    In answer to the original question "What do the RAC do?"

    The RAC are officially the Army's mounted close combat specialists. This does not mean that they do nothing else or that no one else does any mounted close combat. Mounted close combat effectively means being tasked to deliberately go out and fight the enemy from a platform (tank, etc.), sometimes at close quarters and with direct fire weapons (normally guns fired along line of sight). Enough of the theory!

    In the current environment RAC Regiments are increasingly filling a variety of roles. The first can be described as core roles; these are arguably their main war fighting roles which they would conduct in major combat operations against the armed forces of another country. The second type are secondary roles which are conducted if the operation demands them and if RAC soldiers are the most suitable to conduct them.

    There are two core roles in the RAC (not including CBRN, which I won't cover unless you want me to). In no particular order there is Formation Recce (FR) and Armoured (Armd). The RAC currently has 5 regular army regiments in each role.

    Armd regiments' core role is fighting the Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank (CR2 MBT). Each currently has 3 squadrons of 14 CR2, a single medium armour sqn (doing broadly the same job but in CVR(T) Scimitar). The Sqns deliberately engage with and fight the enemy (regardless that MA sqns are normally mounted on Scimitar). The regt also has a headquarters sqn which includes most of the logistic life support that the Regt needs to fight and a Close Recce Tp of 8 Scimitar which is the Commanding Officer's own recce asset.

    An FR regt normally consists of two FR sqns which are normally mounted on CVR(T) of various types. Each FR sqn normally consist of 3 gun troops, each of 4 Scimitar and 2 support/GW troops, each of 4 Spartan carrying dismount soldiers who will normally have some Javelin anti tank missiles and snipers in addition to their own personal weapons. An FR sqn will not normally be tasked to deliberately engage with and fight the enemy (although this is changing). It is primarily for gathering information about the battlefield and the enemy, without being decisively engaged. They do this by moving tactically around the battlefield (normally in front of the fighting formations) and by setting up static observation posts to watch areas of interest. Increasingly they are also expected to engage with the local population to gather information which can be processed into intelligence.

    An FR regt will also have a BRF. This Sqn is mounted on Jackal or WMIK but spends a lot of its time dismounted. In theory its role is very similar to a traditional FR sqn, in fact it is often tasked to deliberately engage with and fight the enemy, either mounted or dismounted. A BRF will normally deploy with a raft of attached capability, including mortars, snipers, anti-tank, etc. There has been a lot written on BRFs elsewhere and there are a lot of differing opinions as to exactly how they should operate, so I won't discuss further, unless you desperately want me to.

    The FR regts also have a headquarters/C&S sqn, similar (sort of) to that of an Armd regt.

    Those are the core roles.

    RAC regts (especially Armd regts) often deploy in secondary roles (normally if tanks are not required but another capability is on a particular operation). Examples of sqns deploying in secondary roles are when they deploy dismounted in a similar capacity as an infantry company but not normally expected to conduct deliberate dismounted offensive operations (therefore fundamentally not infantry). Another example is when a sqn mans troop carrying armoured vehicles such as Mastiff or Viking. In this role the protected mobility sqn (as it is normally called) provides the armoured vehicle support to dismounted infantry companies (and others) as and when they need it. The third example is where a sqn may deploy to train indigenous troops such as the OMLT task in Afghanistan. In short there is no limit to the number of different secondary roles that an RAC sqn could be tasked to carry out for a particular operation, although they will normally be given roles which suit their specialism as mounted close combat troops (therefore secondary roles often involve armed and armoured vehicles) and the fact that the RAC is a combat or "teeth" arm as distinct from a combat support or combat service support arm or service. This means that the RAC is culturally adapted to engaging in deliberate close combat.

    There are a few simplifications in what I have said, but hopefully that should give you a flavour of what the RAC is about. If you are interested in joining the RAC, I would suggested that your most important choice is whether you want to join an FR regt or an Armd regt, then choose the specific capbadge (probably based on geographical recruiting area).

    Feel free to ask me to elaborate on anything I have mentioned and I would caveat this by saying that although I am fairly current things are changing at the moment due to SDSR and the CSR.
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  3. Thanks for the detailed insighht! I am trying to work out my career path and not being involved first hand makes it difficult work at times...Much appreicated!
  4. I think he forgot to ask for a pic of your wife / daughters / girlfriends yawing clacker so on behalf of all other users of this forum.....
  5. The CBRN Regiment as well as it core task (CBRN) has also in the past 2 years provided the Manouvre Support Group on OP HERRICK on Viking and Mastiff, supporting the Infantry Bns on assault ops.
  6. I'm finding it hard to decide between the Infantry and the RAC, so I think joining a FR regiment (probably QRL in my case, I checked and I live in their primary recruitment area: Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire & East Anglia) would suit me well.

    I don't think FR is being massively changed by the SDSR, but none know apart from the cnuts in power at the moment
  7. AlienFTM

    AlienFTM LE Book Reviewer

    Bear in mind that the Light Dragoons are based in Norfolk. They recently had a posting to Paderborn / Sennelager (cannot remember which - the difference is minimal) cancelled because Osnabruck Garrison was closed and it was easier to leave LD where they were and move QDG from Oz to Paderborn / Sennelager.

    Obviously at some point in the (dim and distant) future, LD may get another overseas posting. In the meantime, you'll be on your own doorstep.

    Just have to put up with being being considered an outsider. But even when LD were 15/19H and ALL from the north-east, being an outsider could have been a lot worse. As one of15/19H's greatest ever characters once said (sadly now deceased), the first time he took an RSM's parade about 1979, "There's only one thing wrong with the 15th/19th The King's Royal Hussars: there's too many facking Jawdees."

    Just a thought.
  8. Please can you tell me why they keep moving regiments around for no apparent reason?
  9. elovabloke

    elovabloke LE Moderator

    Because a lot of people liked being moved around including some of the nicer parts of the 3rd Reich instead of living in the shit tips of UK. Although the move was a pain as long as you stayed away from Fally and Hohne it was rather nice.
  10. So when we all are based in the new BAOR called Scotland will the arms plot cease?
  11. elovabloke

    elovabloke LE Moderator

    Nobody left to plot - don't forget to turn off the bloody lights.

    • Like Like x 1
  12. Nothing wrong with Fally, i did two tours there and loved the place. Life is what you make it!
  13. I am intrigued, what part of fally did you like? oh and was a tour 6 months or 22 years (2 RTR)?
  14. Fcuking hell, two tours IN Fally, I bet he loved that!
  15. Did two tours separated by a posting in early to late 80s with RH(PWO)